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Disease Overview

Overview of Diverticulitis

I. Physiological Considerations

Diverticuli are pouchlike out-pocketings consisting of the mucosa and serosal layers, i.e., the inner and the outer layers respectively of the bowel walls, and are more common on the left side of the colon. These are said to protrude through the muscularis, i.e., the middle layer of the bowel wall in areas of weakness (points of penetration of nutrient vessels). The mechanism by which this happens is not well understood, but it is postulated that this is due to increased intraluminal pressure as a result of narrow caliber of the colon stemming from lack of bulk in Western diet.

Symptoms usually do not occur until complications arise, such as inflammation and abscess formation in and around the pouches (i.e., diverticulitis). Further complications as a result of this include perforation, bleeding and fistula formation (i.e., unnatural channels between various organs and tissues). Spasticity of the colon (alternating bouts of diarrhea and constipation) may exist with diverticular disease. For a more detailed discussion, the reader is referred to the textbooks on gastroenterology.

Turning now to the Cayce readings on diverticulitis, one finds that in case [805] the underlying problem is traced back to lesions (adhesions) formed at the time of abdominal surgery (appendectomy). Toxins accumulated in the blood from this area, causing irritation of the bowel wall with excessive mucus production which hardened into “strings” and “threads” as well as sloughing of tissue from the mucosa, tending to make for more accumulation and irritation.

This led to an increased temperature, pain, and pulsation in the colon. The irritation and increased pressure resulted in strain on the whole nervous system, and abnormal autonomic discharge further leading to impairment in colon function.

Although no definite mention was made in this reading of diverticuli formation, it can be readily seen how increase in pressure and disorganized peristaltic activity can lead to saclike herniations through areas of weakness in the abdominal wall.

Widespread signs and symptoms may be associated with autonomic nervous system dysfunction, the more common ones being pain, heaviness and burning sensation in the lower limbs as a result of altered circulation and tiredness.

Case [3079] may serve as an other example of how this disease might develop. Here the problem was poor eliminations leading to toxic accumulations, which in turn produced deposits around the ligaments, cartilages and segments of the lower spine, resulting in stiffness in the spine. The autonomic nervous system could thus become involved at this level with dysynergy in the activity of the colon.

Also there was seen a deficiency in certain elements in the hemoglobin of the blood “that is a creative and active force from digestive forces through the liver itself.” The meaning behind this last phrase is not entirely clear to me; but it seems to indicate that the missing component arises from the diet and is processed in the liver before being incorporated into the hemoglobin. This deficiency presumably contributed to toxic accumulations and poor eliminations. These abnormalities may then act on the colon and the autonomic nervous system through the mechanisms already discussed.

It can be seen from the foregoing that there are several factors involved in the genesis of diverticular disease of the colon, some of which remain to be further elucidated.

II. Rationale of Therapy

  1. Good dietary habits: A well-balanced diet should act as a deterrent, especially in people who may have predisposing factors, e.g., poor eliminations, prior surgery, etc. Those who have established disease may benefit from bulk-forming diet (high fiber).
  2. Good eliminations: This raises the necessity of redefining what is considered normal eliminations. It is true that there is great individual variation, but considering the increasing amounts of undesirable additives or deficiencies in processed foods, a more stringent criterion should be established. In my opinion, evacuation of the bowel daily or at least every other day would be most desirable.
  3. Physical therapy: The modalities most commonly recommended include castor oil packs, colonic enemas, osteopathic manipulations, and violet ray therapy. These collectively alleviate distressing symptoms and aid in bringing the body back to balance.
  4. Medicinal: Thyroid replacement and/or Atomidine was recommended for underactive thyroid which might aggravate or cause constipation.

III. Suggested Therapeutic Regimen

  1. Castor oil packs: These may be used for three to four hours at a time daily for acute symptoms, then one-and-a-half to two hours at a time three days a week (same days and times if possible) after improvement is noted. Olive oil, one-half teaspoon every two to three hours initially for one to two days, may be helpful. For subacute or chronic cases, one to two tablespoons of olive oil after the third day of castor oil pack (i.e., once a week) may be used. [Note: It was recommended that the affected area of the abdomen be painted first with a mixture of three parts tincture of laudanum (opium) to one part aconite before application of the castor oil pack to this area. This “focuses” the desired effect to the affected area. This prescription is no longer available; but if it does become available in the future, its use is strongly recommended.]
  2. Colonic enemas: These should be gentle and would be most beneficial after the third day of castor oil packs. The recommended frequency would be one or two treatments per week initially for two to three weeks, then one monthly for the next two to three months.
  3. Gentle or mild laxatives as necessary to keep the bowels open, e.g., Fletcher’s Castoria, Sulflax, Serutan, etc.
  4. Osteopathy: Manipulations once or twice per week for three to four weeks with two-week rest periods before repeating for three or more series.
  5. Total body massage with emphasis along the spine, using a combination of equal parts of peanut and olive oils. This again should be once or twice a week, if possible, for a five- to six-week period. This may be repeated as often as necessary.
  6. Correct underactive thyroid by using thyroid hormones (dosage dependent on severity) and/or Atomidine.
    Suggested program of Atomidine:
    One drop daily for seven days, rest five days
    Two drops daily for seven days, rest five days
    Three drops daily for seven days, rest five days (Repeat this cycle two or three times.)
  7. Diet: An alkaline-reacting diet is recommended. During acute attacks, food intake should be limited to liquids and semisolids for the first 10 to 14 days. Drink plenty of juices, at least four ounces per day from the following: watercress juice, carrot and lettuce juice, beet juice, celery and lettuce juice, apple juice from fresh apples, grape juice from fresh grapes (may alternate among these). Seafoods are also recommended two or three times a week.
  8. The ultraviolet ray may also be used, placed 38-40 inches from the body for one-and-a-half to three minutes at a time, three to four times a week for one to two weeks.
  9. Have adequate rest.

The treatments outlined here aid in the purification of the body. In some cases, after initiation of these treatments, the condition may appear to worsen. This may be attributed to the liberation of “dross” which has accumulated in the system. With patience, persistence, and consistency, improvement usually occurs.

Note: The preceding overview was written by Hezekiah Chinwah, M.D. and is excerpted from the Physician’s Reference Notebook, Copyright © 1968 by the Edgar Cayce Foundation, Virginia Beach, VA.

Note: As this information is not intended for self-diagnosis or self-treatment, your use of this database of information indicates that you are aware of our recommendation that you consult with a professional healthcare provider before taking any action.